POLL: Majority of Turkish Citizens Support Friendly Relations With Russia, While Viewing the US as an Adversary
According to an opinion poll carried out by Turkish polling firm Gezici in December, 72.8% of respondents desire good relations with Russia.By contrast, roughly 90% Turkish respondents view the US in an adversarial manner.
In addition, this poll discovered that 24.2% of Turkish citizens believe Russia is a hostile actor. By contrast, 62.6% of Turkish citizens believe Russia is a friendly country.
In a similar vein, over 60% of respondents indicated that Russia makes positive contributions to the Turkish economy.
Curiously, The Cradle observed that a poll carried out last May by consulting firm MetroPOLL highlighted how 33.7% of Turkish citizens blamed Russia for the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. By comparison, 48.3% of Turkish citizens blamed the US and NATO for this conflict.
Since a failed military coup attempt in 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, anti-American sentiments have grown significantly in Turkey.
“We can say that the people are more distant from the West and have more confidence in the Russians,” Murat Gezici, the president of the polling agency, declared per a report by TV channel Ulusal Kanal.
Despite growing anti-US attitudes, the Gezici poll also demonstrated that roughly 60% of citizens are in favor of Turkey’s continued membership in NATO.
Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and boasts the second largest standing army in the military alliance.
Turkey generated controversy in 2017 after it bought Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, which prompted the US to remove it from the F-35 fighter jet program. Turkey has continued receiving criticism for refusing to sanction Russia for its February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine. BLP reported on former Trump national security John Bolton calling for Turkey’s expulsion from NATO based on the country’s refusal to take a firmer stance against Russia.
In the multipolar order that’s currently crystallizing, Turkey finds itself in an interesting position. As a seasoned geopolitical hedger, Turkey will seek to play the Collective West against the emerging Eurasian Axis (China, Iran, and Russia) in order to advance its interests and pursue some form of neo-Ottoman or Pan-Turkic geopolitical project. Despite its current inflationary hiccups, Turkey is poised to become a major player as multipolarity becomes the norm in international affairs.